Breast Self-Exam

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The most effective tools to detect breast cancer are mammography and clinical breast exams. But a breast self-examination may also be a useful tool to find cancer early. Dr. Edward Hill discusses breast self-exam in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The breast self-exam is a way to check your breasts for changes, such as lumps or skin changes that may signal breast cancer. When breast cancer is detected in its early stages, your chance for surviving the disease is greatly improved. While 80 percent of all breast lumps are not cancerous, detecting a cancerous lump early may save your life.

Many think you should start performing breast self exams in your 20s. Women who choose to do breast self-exam should have their technique reviewed during their physical exam by a health professional.

Examine your breasts once a month, three to five days after your menstrual period ends. If you have stopped menstruating, perform the exam on the same day of each month, such as the first day of the month or a day easy for you to remember. With each exam, you will become familiar with the contours and feel of your breasts, and will be more alert to changes.

See your health care provider if you discover any lumps, skin changes, dimpling or unusual nipple discharge.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.